Bittergourd sidedish(Karathe sukke)

Long back, Manoj had asked me to post this recipe. He had asked for “karathe puddi sagle”, which looks like a dish from South Kanara(I am not sure though). One thing which came to my mind when I read his mail was the traditional dish with bittergourd called as Karathe sukke. (Karathe – bittergourd, Sukke – sidedish with coconut, where coconut masala is cooked till it becomes almost dry).

Since I had this hatred about bittergourd, I had never tried any dishes with it. Manoj’s mail inspired me to try it. I had seen bitter melons in chinese store, but had never tried them. Few days back, when I went to Indian store, I found some bittergourds there. I bought the smallest one. Can you beleive it? I prepared three dishes with it(karathe fry, karathe sukke and karathe pickle, which I am going to post soon) thinking I might have to waste them if we both din’t like it. BUT….to my surprise, we just loved all the dishes. Now every time I go to Chinese store (Indian store is very far, so I am managing with the Chinese store which is easily accessible to me), I make sure to buy the bitter melons :D.

This dish has a sweetish, spicy taste to it. Give it a try, and I am sure you will start liking bittergourd.

Bittergourd(Karathe – cut into small pieces) 1 cup
Onion 1/2 cup
Coconut 3/4 cup
Jaggery 1 tea spn
Red chillies 4-5
Coriander seeds 1/2 tea spn
Urad daal 1/2 tea spn
Tamarind 1/4 tea spn
Oil 1 tea spn

Add salt to bittergourd pieces and keep it aside for 1/2 hour. Sqeeze out the water (this step is done to remove the bitterness).
Heat oil and fry coriander seeds and urad daal. Grind with coconut, jaggery, chillies and tamarind (do not make the masala too watery).
Heat oil and fry onion till they turn slightly brownish. Add bittergourd. Add 1/4 cup water, cover and cook for 7-8mins. Add the ground masala (since bittergourd retains some salt, check for salt and if required, add salt).
Serve as a side dish with rice.

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 20mins

15 thoughts on “Bittergourd sidedish(Karathe sukke)”

  1. Thanks Shilpa for reminding about this receipe. My mom makes Karathe Kirlu (Bamboo shoots) and Ambade Sukke or Ghashi. Only diff is we do not use onions. I guess the colour is brownish as onions are used. The sukke we make is reddish, due to the use of bedygi chillis. I like the sweet and spicy taste of the sukke/ghasi. Will try with onions soon.

  2. Aruna, do not mind the color. My mom’s version is red, my picture looks brownish bcos of the hopeless chillies. I have used 2-3 versions till now hoping to get good color, but all were pathetic. I could not find Kashmiri chillies yet.
    We make Kirla sukke too, I love that. But there is somebody at home, who does not even like bringing home Kirlu(bamboo shoots). So I can eat that only when I go to native.
    Thanks Vineela. Do try both and let me know if you liked them.

  3. Shilpa ….. I too have a problem with the chillies here. I dont know which chillis are good in taste and colour. I thought it was brownish coz you have used onions. Thanks

  4. shilpa, Bittergourd is going to be on the top of my market list…….I can imagine the taste going by your recipe. would love to try this next week.Thanks for the same……:)

  5. Hi Shilpa ….. I prepared the same using onions. I used bedgyi chills in good quantity. It tasted excellent. Do give a try without onions too.

  6. Do you seed the bitter gourd or leave them in? I usually de-seed mine – but I saw a recipe recently that just called to cut them up if seeds not too dried out, so wanted to check.

    I do like bitter gourd in small quantities, but don’t make it that often – maybe once a month.


  7. Diane, you are correct. Seeds should be removed only if they are hard, if they are very small and tender, you can use them as they are.

  8. thank you so much for this receipe.
    i bought karathe thinking i will make puddi sagle. when my mother in law visited from india, she made it but i forgot to write it down. after i bought the karathe, i asked one of my friends if she knew how to make puddi sagle and then she talked about this website. i followed the receipe and it turned out GREAT. everyone loved it.
    thank you very much.

  9. the recipe is healthy as it does not use sugar but uses jaggery instead. it is good but a little less spicy. i am little toooooo spicy in eating foods.please add a little more spices and try to make the recipe more favourable to eat!!

    Shilpa: Ritika, you can increase the chili amount if you want more spicy.

  10. Hi Shilpa

    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes. I had a question about food measures. When you mention ‘cup’ in your recipes – do you mean the std. 8 ounce cup or the 4 ounce rice cup measure? Would appreciate if you could clarify.

    Shilpa: Standard 8 ounce cup

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